New Hampshire celebrates fourth anniversary of approving the freedom to marry

Today is the fourth anniversary of New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signing the freedom to marry into law across the state of NH after a bill passed through both houses of the legislature - the first state to pass the freedom to marry through a vote in the legislature. The first marriages for same-sex couples in New Hampshire took place on January 1, 2010, and the law has maintained popular support among New Hampshire residents - with a 2012 poll showing that 57% of residents support marriage for same-sex couples. 

In 2012, the New Hampshire legislature - including more than 100 Republicans - affirmed their commitment to the freedom to marry by voting against a measure to repeal the marriage law. Now, because of the initial passage of the law and the successful campaign to defend the law, loving same-sex couples like Jenn Corriveau and Christina Honeycutt (who shared their story with Freedom to Marry earlier this year and will marry in New Hampshire in 2014) are able to share in the freedom to marry. 

Today, leaders in New Hampshire explained the impact of the marriage law on families across the state and called for a national end to the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Governor Maggie Hassan, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and former GOP Congressman Charlie Bass participated in a press conference today, organized by the Respect for Marriage Coalition, explaining why marriage matters.

Governor Hassan and the others urged the Supreme Court to strike down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act so that New Hampshire families can see their legal marriages respected by the federal government, and they explained why marriage matters nationwide. Gov. Hassan said:

Throughout our history, every time we have sought to include more people in the life of our state and communities, we have grown stronger. I am proud that, four years ago, New Hampshire became the first state to enact Marriage Equality legislation without the force of a court order, because encouraging strong marriages for all loving couples strengthens families and communities. We must continue working to ensure that all married couples, in New Hampshire and across the country, are treated fairly and equally under the law.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) also applauded the fourth anniversary of the law. She said:

I'm proud to celebrate the fourth anniversary of marriage equality in New Hampshire. New Hampshire's leadership on this issue should serve as a model for the entire country. Equality and freedom are two of our country's most important principles and we have a moral obligation to make sure all Americans are treated equally and fairly. We need to repeal discriminatory laws like the Defense of Marriage Act because they wrongfully deny LGBT Americans equal treatment under the law, and we need to make sure all Americans have the freedom to marry the person they love.

Learn more about the freedom to marry in New Hampshire HERE, and don't miss the story of why Jenn and Christina are excited to tie the knot in New Hampshire